GB milk deliveries: May volumes lowest in 8 years

Wednesday, 12 June 2024

GB milk volume in May showed a subdued and delayed spring flush with prolonged wet weather delaying grass growth.

Total milk deliveries for the month are estimated at 1,127 million litres, 1.2% below the same month in 2023 and the lowest May milk volume recorded since 2016. Average daily deliveries are estimated at 36.35 million litres with the peak day arriving on 12 May, recording 37.34 million litres.

The latest BCMS population update shows that the GB milking herd remains flat year on year, indicating that lower volumes have come as a result of lower yields per cow.

Prolonged wet conditions not only held back cow turnout but have also delayed grass growth. Looking at peak growth, although this was down year on year, it was higher than the 5-year average, likely due to a break in the weather causing grass growth to shoot up in the early part of the month. See the latest grass growth data visualized on the Forage for Knowledge webpage. Though silage season is now well underway, the slower start may well put pressure on forage supplies later in the year. Paired alongside this, hay and straw prices are currently sitting at a record high and farmers will be hoping the weather picks up in time for harvest after last year’s damp summer.

Wholesale dairy product prices recorded an uplift during the latter half of May, as the extent of lower milk volumes were revealed. This has more recently resulted in most key milk buyers announcing price increases, with June milk prices trending upwards and July looking more positive. With tight supplies in the market any changes in milk or dairy product demand will likely add pressure to pricing.

We will up be updating our 2024/25 milk production forecast later this month (June) to see how the latest data impacts the industry outlook.

GB daily milk deliveries

Image of staff member Annabel Twinberrow

Annabel Twinberrow

Trainee Analyst

See full bio

Sign up to receive the latest information from AHDB.

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved.